About the Barmah-Millewa Collective

Our Vision

A flourishing Murray-Darling Basin where Indigenous peoples enjoy sovereign rights to country.

Our current goals are supporting Traditional Owners in the management of the new red gum parks, and achieving recognition of Indigenous and environmental water rights across the Basin.

Our History

The Barmah-Millewa Collective (BMC) formed in late 2000 to put into action commitments FoE had made to the Yorta Yorta people after receiving a formal request to join them in a campaign to protect Barmah-Millewa and re-establish their rights to manage the forest. The campaign was first mooted in 1998 at the Dharnya Centre occupation in Barmah Forest. The Yorta Yorta had occupied the centre in protest against the Kennett and Howard governments’ racist “10 point plan” to water down native title legislation. Many traditional owners and supporters including FoE attended the occupation, and new alliances and campaigns were established. Another alliance to emerge from discussion at the Dharnya occupation was the Murray & Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations (MLDRIN), an Indigenous federation that has become a driving force in the fight to protect the cultural and ecological integrity of the Murray-Darling system and one of the BMC’s key allies.

Our campaign grew to cover the red gum forests along the length of the Murray and – with the combined efforts of many allies – achieved exciting victories in December 2008 and May 2010 as first Victoria and then NSW moved to create over 250,000ha of new red gum National Parks and Protected Areas, many of which will be co-managed or handed back to Traditional Owners.

Founding members of the BMC were Peter Barker, Indira Narayan and Lisa
Ward, who were joined soon after by Emmaline Schooneveldt-Reid, Lindy
Orthia and Jonathan La Nauze.

The successful Barmah-Millewa Campaign was highlighted in the "40 years
of struggle and success" book of Friends of the Earth's 40th
celebrations. Read our article here 

Our Donor Partners

The Collective would like to gratefully acknowledge the generosity and support of a number of partners, including the Reichstein FoundationAustralian Communities Foundation and Alf and Meg Steele Fund.